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Thread: A rant: Crappy reloading dies suck

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    A rant: Crappy reloading dies suck

    Dad passed away last year and I inherited his reloading gear. All was good. Old Pacific press, RCBS and Pacific dies, except for the 243 which had Herter's dies. So this morning I try to size and prime my stash of 243 brass. Not happening. The die is too tight, and the decapper can't be adjusted properly. I lube, polish, tweak, and finally give up. Head to the local gun shop and buy a set of RCBS dies. Problems solved. Yes, why do you never remember Dad reloading 243? Why does a 50 year old box look like brand new? I now know.

    Rant over. Yes, the new dies work perfectly.

  2. #2
    ahh yes!! herters! some of there tools were great. some not so whoopi!! there catalog had some of the finest bullsquash ever printed tho. and some good articles to.kinda miss'em.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    I remember one brave gunwriter back in the old days sneaking "Herter's stuff may not always work exactly the way it's supposed to, but it sure is cheap!" past the Editor and the Advertising Manager, in an article he wrote in a gun magazine. They probably strangled him when the issue came out.

    Most of it was at least serviceable, and I imagine they had a return/replacement policy back in the day. But then, as now, you got what you paid for.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity does it say 243 Winchester?

    There were several 243 wildcats in the day.
    je suis charlie

    It is better to live one day as a LION than a dozen days as a Sheep.

    Thomas Jefferson Quotations:
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artful View Post
    Out of curiosity does it say 243 Winchester?

    There were several 243 wildcats in the day.
    Yes it does. Pounded out about 150 rounds through the new ones. I'm a pretty happy camper. I'll be happier when the $10 rebate hits.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    cheapshot what are you going to do with the herters 243 dies ?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    That's actually funny !
    A thread about a die set that is at least 30 yr old being poor quality from a company that's been basically out of business that long .

    Lots of rumors about where the dies came from , sounds like in you case they may have been seconds .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992

    About that rally point, the soap and mail boxes fall on blind eyes and deaf ears,the ballot box is manipulated,it would seem we are fast running out options....

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I kinda miss a catalogue where you could buy the 'World's Finest' whatever.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



    Kevin Rohrer's Avatar
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    Herters made solid, servicable presses that are still very usable today. Their dies; not so much.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & the West Branch Gun Club.

    Caveat Emptor: Do not trust Cavery Grips from Clayton, NC. He will rip you off.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I had a set of Herters dies that were not machined correctly and would not work. Mine were 22 Hornet.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoor4570 View Post
    cheapshot what are you going to do with the herters 243 dies ?
    Going into the estate sale for some collector.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    I had a set of Herters dies that were not machined correctly and would not work. Mine were 22 Hornet.
    These were really bad. Couldn't get the last half inch of the cases sized. Just too tight. The RCBS were like glass. I sure felt better about myself at that point. I was feeling pretty stupid until I figured it out.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harter66 View Post
    That's actually funny !
    A thread about a die set that is at least 30 yr old being poor quality from a company that's been basically out of business that long .

    Lots of rumors about where the dies came from , sounds like in you case they may have been seconds .
    They are about 50 years old. Dad bought his 243 in 1968. He would buy the dies about the time he bought his gun. The only exceptions were very early 60s before he bought his press. He bought the press with the 35 Remington dies and started there.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have had a number of sets of Herters dies. Most I was able to use after polishing the tool marks out of the FL die. I eventually got rid of all of them except a 7x57 FL die that is undersize and requires so much force that you cannot pull the cases out without breaking the rims. I just use that dog as a forming die.
    EDG

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheapshot View Post
    Going into the estate sale for some collector.
    Price ?????

  16. #16
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    Pressman's Avatar
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    I have a set of Herter's Mk I dies in 243 that are too large and don't fully resize the base of the cartridge. As long as I use them for a singe rifle all is well, mostly.
    I replaced them with Herter's Mk II dies and all is well.

    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: pressman@antiquereloadingtools.com
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check